Good news to K-dram addicts and K-pop fanatics!
Starting in 2020, Filipino travelers may enter Korea even without a visa. The Ministry of Strategy and Finance and the Ministry of Justice announced this remarkable news on December 12th. This good news is indeed a sweet Christmas present for us Filipinos who want to experience Korea.
Philippines passport holders can enter the airport in inland areas such as Busan, Incheon, and Seoul. You can stay in these areas for a maximum of 5 days. Here’s the catch though: You must visit Jeju Island as your final destination to be granted a visa-free trip.
This Visa-Free program is part of South Korea’s “Plan for Promoting Foreign Tours” in an attempt to improve the economy of regional provinces in the country. The program also extends to Indonesian and Vietnam passport holders. While this program has not been fully finalized yet, we have high hopes that this will be pushed through.
Jeju Group Tourist Visa System
The visa-free system, which is scheduled to be tested in the first half of next year (2020), is for group tourists who have scheduled flights to enter Korea with the final destination of Jeju Island (using domestic flights).
Therefore, individual tourists are not eligible. And only group tourists with certain requirements will be given these benefits.
(ex. for Chinese passport holders, the visa-free entry system has been given only to group tourists with designated tour agencies.)
Currently there is no final decision on the matter and it will be further discussed with the related ministries in Korea until February 2020. Source: mofa.go
3 Ways to Visit South Korea Visa-Free
Just recently, the Korean embassy has made an announcement on how tourists can enter their country visa-free. According to their website, you are eligible for the visa-free entry if you are:
- A foreign transfer passenger via Incheon Airport.
- A tourist in transit to third countries and should have a confirmed flight ticket for departure for 30 days.
- A visitor to Jeju island
Nationalities of 24 countries are excluded from these Visa-free options. The list of countries includes
- Republic of Kosovo
- Sri Lanka
If so, it’s best if you apply for a South Korea visit instead. A visa will allow you to explore the country more and you get to visit many places featured in your favorite K-drama.